Sermon Illustrations

“Letting Go of the Branch!” Luke 1:5-15 Key verse(s) 13“But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.”

Trusting in God is fine, as long as it is something you believe He can do. It’s funny that sometimes we find ourselves content to let God handle the ordinary things in life like giving us an opportunity to do well on a job interview or score well on a test. But, when it really comes to the hard things, the things that really seem impossible and we have little if any faith that they will ever happen, we are often tempted to trust our own means rather than give the problem up to God. Being content to wait on the Lord for the impossible is something that most Christians just have a hard time doing.

Why are we so reluctant to give God the impossible things and then sit back and wait for an answer? We know that God has done the impossible in the past. He created something from nothing. How impossible can you get? Even the simpler things like parting the waters of the Red Sea and sending manna and quail to His children in the desert were accomplished without so much as a bat of a Holy eyelash. Yet, when it comes to our impossible, the things that have us so stymied that we are at a total loss for a solution, we often find ourselves thinking that we know God could do it, but it seems so far-fetched that He would. So we fight on alone, trusting that somehow luck or pluck will get the job done.

Perhaps it’s just because we might feel we don’t want to bother God with hard tasks. Perhaps it’s because we feel foolish asking for really “big” things. More likely, however, it’s because we have a schedule for things to happen and the hard things, the impossible things, need to be gotten out of the way quickly so that we can move on with our lives. We know that God has a solution for every problem in life. The problem is we often find ourselves reluctant to match our schedules with His timetable. It’s like the man who fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. He looks upward and yells: “Is anyone up there?” Then he hears a voice.

“I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?”

“Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe,” the man says earnestly. “But I can’t hang on much longer.”

“That’s all right,” is the Lord’s reply. “If you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch.”

A moment of pause, then: “Is anyone else up there?” (adapted--Bits & Pieces,...

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